MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Tim Cahill has been ruled out of Australia's squad for the Nov. 15 World Cup qualifier in Thailand because of soreness that sidelined him for a domestic game on the weekend.
The absence of Australia's leading and most reliable scorer depletes the experience in the 23-man squad, leaving skipper Mile Jedinak (67), Mark Milligan (52) and Robbie Kruse (47) as the only players with more than 36 international caps.
Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren has been called up to take Cahill's place in one of four changes to the squad which had draws at home against Japan and away against Saudi Arabia last month.
Cahill, who moved back to Australia this season after spending his entire career playing abroad, missed Melbourne City's match against Adelaide United with unspecified soreness.
''Tim has been left out primarily because we have a 10-day lead-in, which is very rare, and I want to be able to put the squad through a lot of work,'' Australia coach Ang Postecoglou said. ''He has done a lot of travel for club and country, and I have decided it is better he remains in Melbourne where he is being managed well to ensure he is back on the park as soon as possible and ready for us down the track.''
The Australia squad will start arriving in Bangkok on Sunday for the match that will be the halfway point in the last round of Asian qualifying for Russia 2018.
The unbeaten Socceroos are in second place on eight points in Group B, two points behind Saudi Arabia. Thailand is winless from four games in the six-team group. Only the top two teams in each of the Asian qualifying groups get an automatic spot at the World Cup.
Australia squad: Nathan Burns, Milos Degenek, Adam Federici, Alex Gersbach, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Mile Jedinak, James Jeggo, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mitchell Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Massimo Luongo, Jamie Maclaren, Mark Milligan, Aaron Mooy, Josh Risdon, Tommy Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Trent Sainsbury, Brad Smith, Matthew Spiranovic, Bailey Wright.